Hundreds gather at Sac State vigil honoring slain police officer

Tara O’Sullivan “a true hero,” President Nelsen said


Jordan Silva-Benham - The State Hornet

President Nelsen and LECS Founder Shelby Moffatt were among those who gave speeches at the vigil for slain Sac PD officer and Sac State alumna Tara O’Sullivan.

Jordan Silva-Benham

Hundreds of law enforcement officers, community members and students gathered at Sacramento State for a vigil Sunday evening to honor fallen alumna and Sacramento Police officer Tara O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan was shot and killed Wednesday after responding to a domestic violence call in North Sacramento.

The vigil began with local law enforcement officers walking to the outdoor studio theater in silence before Sac State President Robert Nelsen gave a speech.

“She is the epitome of what we want all of our officers to be, she is the epitome of what a Hornet is,” Nelsen said. “To her parents, thank you for loaning her to me for four years. Thank you for raising a true hero.”

In reference to the female officers in attendance, Nelsen said, “if seeing hundreds of female officers does not touch you, you don’t have a heart.”

Jordan Silva-Benham – The State Hornet
The vigil was held to honor Tara O’Sullivan, a Sacramento State Alumna and police officer who died on Wednesday while on a domestic violence call in North Sacramento

Nelsen’s opening speech was followed by speeches from Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars (LECS) founder and director, Shelby Moffatt.

“She wasn’t the biggest person in the world, but her heart was huge,” Moffatt said.

O’Sullivan, was among the first group of students to graduate from the LECS program, which, according to their website, aims to prepare students for their future careers in law enforcement. In addition to graduating from the program, O’Sullivan graduated from Sac State with a bachelor’s degree in child development in May of last year.

Following Moffatt, Joshua Heredia, a Sac PD officer who graduated from the LECS program with O’Sullivan, spoke to the crowd.

“When I was hungry, she would make me meals, when I was tired, she always had a place for me to sleep, and when I was depressed, I was never depressed around her,” Heredia said. “I am no longer tired, I am no longer hungry, I am no longer depressed. There’s still work out there to be done.” 

The evening was concluded with a short speech by President Nelsen. 

“Tara was a millennial. She was a Sac State Hornet. She was a police officer,” Nelsen said. “There was good in her soul, and there is good in your souls out there. I don’t have the right to say we’ve got it from here, but I know there’s a lot of people out here who have got it from here for her.”

O’Sullivan’s memorial service is set to be held on Thursday at the Bayside Church Adventure Campus in Roseville.

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